Ah. Where did day 1 become day 2?
When Peat began barking below my feet in the hold, i knew our flight was at an end. We extracted ourselves from tortured sleeping positions and deplaned. We had to make our way to the car rental and the dog shipper who would clear dogs through customs and hand them over. Thank God Peat barked on the trip as I only spotted three crates on the tarmac on our way to customs.
For me the first stop was Costa for a mocha latte (very acceptable) and then I caught up to Bev on the ten-minute walk to the car rental.
Everyone we met was so friendly. No one was in any kind of hurry. We chatted at customs, we chatted at the car rental, we chatted at the dog broker with the agents and a cute guy just back from Afghanistan with his bomb-sniffing border collie. Emily and Andrew the extraordinaire dog agents could not have been nicer. They even cleaned a peed-in crate.
Peat and Flo were deliriously happy to see me. Did not even have to show ID to claim them
At that moment our trip became fun. Safe dogs, all officialdom and paperwork completed. Most of the big money already spent. Of course, the fun really began when we began to navigate away from the airport. Driving on the left, we threaded our way through roundabouts in and out of a housing development We were sternly warned about traffic through Perth because of the music festival. Ha. We scoffed. We had travelled across the George Washington Bridge in mid afternoon to Neward yesterday. We had flown across the Atlantic in a plane with a bum engine. Perth did not scare us.
Bev drove ably through Perth to Pitlochry as I gawked at the view. Lush fields, steep hills, forest. Gorgeous well-fed cattle and sheep and horses dotting the countryside.
I had been longing to return to this country for 20 years and it was as I remembered. Charming magnificent. In full growing season.
And we had brought dogs!!
I began to plot my move to Scotland.
Lunch in Pitlochry with our dogs tied to our table outside. The waitress brought the dogs water. I heard American accents everywhere. People loved our dogs and were supportive of our journey to run in the Hebridean trials.
I did not feel tired
The trip to Skye, however, became a feat of endurance after poor sleep and the time change. The grandeur of the Highlands was a constant encouragement, but it was a long trip.
Bev was a happier driver than passenger, so I was only able to wrest the wheel from her once we had reached the bridge to Skye at Kyle of Lochalsh. I had my shot at left-hand driving on the last hour of windy single-track roads with sheep everywhere and passing places for oncoming cars. Despite Bev’s occasional complaints, I did awesome. I had to remind her that I too had had some hair-raising moments as a passenger. Occasionally sucking it up is a good thing.
Our B&B. was a little bit out of the way but charming. Sheep everywhere. Fabulous vegetation and gardens by the sea. It seems a fairly temperate climate, kind of like home on Cape Cod but grand, stunning and sparsely settled
I found the landscape much like the west and very soothing to the eye and mind.
An early night will set us up for tomorrow.